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« Josh 42 | Main | New S&T committee submissions »

Financial Post op-ed

I have an opinion piece up at Canada's Financial Post.

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Reader Comments (22)

Hoorah! Wider still and wider.......

Sep 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

The UK political establishment may well pride itself, 'Yes Minister' style, in the ease with which it can call such low-powered enquiries to gloss over embarrassments. But if it is true that the Internet 'never forgets', then we have been presented with a case study of one or more of the ways in which they go about it, ably captured in your report and summarised in this piece, and now very widely available for a long time. The gentler despots around the world, anxious to appear 'democratic', will appoint lackeys to study all of this for tips and pointers. But they may lack the 'Sirs' and 'Lords' which give our enquiries the appearance of probity and distinction. Mind you, that's easily fixed.

Sep 18, 2010 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Bishop, you may want to direct your readers to WUWT where an urgent appeal for money to look after an Australian farmer and his family who are being evicted from their farm by the greenies down under. Jo Nova has the full story.


Sep 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

The Financial Post is among the few level headed papers around wrt Climate Change reporting. With Solomon, Foster, et al they have a very reasonable group of editors and columnists and are very sceptical about CAGW. Its sister paper, the National Post, and some of these same columnists are being sued by Prof Andrew Weaver, a climate activist at the University of Victoria. Apparently a burglary of Weaver's office around the time of Climategate led to a jumble of accusations and counter-accusations. I cannot find any recent references to the lawsuit or its outcome.

Sep 18, 2010 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

I am curious as to the statement in the opinion piece saying:

...and having much more sanguine private views of climate science than the ones they presented to the public.

Why was this your conclusion? It seemed to me, at least in some cases, that the private views were much more pessimistic than their public views.

Sep 18, 2010 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterpluck

Perhaps, now that I have reflected further, I can see that what was meant was that the climate scientists were privately more sanguine about the future of the earth or climate than indicated by their public predictions.

I understood the statement to mean that the climate scientists were privately more sanguine about the condition of climate science than indicated by their public decrees that there could be no doubt about the science.

Sep 18, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterpluck

You have hit a bases-loaded home run. You did a masterful job, and to a very influential audience. This was perfectly balanced.

[BH adds: Thanks!]

Sep 18, 2010 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Excellent. Hope it does the book sales some good as well.

Sep 18, 2010 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Great article, well written as always. One quibble though, you quote:

What is worse, although the public was told that this short list of papers was selected on the advice of the Royal Society, in fact they were chosen by the University of East Anglia itself and were approved by Phil Jones, CRU’s director and the man at the centre of many of the most serious allegations.

Are we 100% sure we are good to go with that? This is the note Steve McIntyre recieved from UEA:

Dear Mr McIntyre
In response to your recent enquiry I can provide the following information.

I understand that the list of 11 papers for the Oxburgh review was collated by Prof Trevor Davies, in consultation with others. He was also the author of the statement at the bottom of the list.

Yours sincerely,
Lisa Williams

While basically just as inappropriate, nevertheless Davies isn't Jones. I am not sure we can we be so definitive on the point that Jones himself provided advance approval of the choice of papers.

The April 16 e-mail from Oxburgh to Morton shows that Jones said that the sample was fair. But that e-mail came after the main April 6-8 Norwich meetings. To me this looks like Jones retroactively validated the papers in the interview process rather than proactively approving them in advance of the review. That seems to be the perspective you provide in your July 14 post.

But the impression left in the FP article implies that we know that Jones had a hand in the selection of the papers. I am not sure that is 100% accurate. Of course, that Davies had a hand in it and that the Royal society didn't, now looks certain.

You, and others, are way closer to this material than I am, so I might be wrong on the Jones bit. So please correct me if I have it wrong

Sep 18, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterdkkraft


Oxburgh was speaking to Morton after the publicaiton of the report. We don't know when he consulted with Jones.

I don't say whether the approval was retrospective or prior. Just that he approved them.

Sep 18, 2010 at 8:37 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Thanks for responding Bishop. Good to clarify the point I think.

For what it is worth it wouldn't surprise me if Jones did not provide prior approval. He didn't have to. Somehow this old adage comes to mind.....

"Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink."

Sep 18, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterdkkraft

Your Grace, it was a pleasure to read your succint summary on this side of the pond! FYI, since the NP/FP Comment did not include any links to your report (in either the digital subscriber edition, or the "freebie" edition), I have posted a link in the comments ... as well as a link to Ross McKitrick's critique, which is an excellent companion piece.

Seeing your op ed there was a welcome antidote to the CBC (Canada's equivalent of the BBC, in far to many ways for comfort) "science" maven: Bob McDonald's most recent episode of perpetual banging of the climate scare drum, had prompted me to post "A music[limatic] interlude"! (

Sep 18, 2010 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

I hope that the british government recognize the aphorism and don't confuse it the with Damien Dempsey album. You may have to disambiguate it for them.
I enjoy your style of writing as i am sure most of your readers do.
Completed my second reading of HSI and am reluctantly passing it on to someone who cannot afford to buy it. Then i am going to encourage him to find another reader. I have put my phone number in the book together with a request that readers ring me with their thoughts after reading the book.

Sep 18, 2010 at 10:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Update us when Russell, Gavin and Lord Ox make their calls.
Thank you in advance.

Sep 18, 2010 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

This reminds of a past life in a Scottish College of Further Education where, weekly, the Times Educational Supplement (Scotland) got caught up in the internal post. First stop the principal, next the VP and so down the ladder.
Guess they couldn't afford the subscription either!

Sep 18, 2010 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Your Grace: excellent article. I note that you write ...

"In recent days it has emerged that Russell was informed early in his investigation that emails subject to FOI requests were no longer available at the university, since the scientist involved had taken them home for “safekeeping,” a remarkable step that could indicate a breach of FOI legislation and yet is not even discussed in Russell’s report."

Remarkable indeed. Has this been made public other then in your op-ed?

Sep 19, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJC

It was pointed out in my introduction to the press conference last week, but nobody seems to have picked up on it.

Sep 19, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I'm afraid you really need to spell stuff like that out to them..

Sep 19, 2010 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Your Grace:

"It was pointed out in my introduction to the press conference last week, but nobody seems to have picked up on it."

I cannot see it mentioned anywhere on-line and it doesn't appear on the GWPF site as far as I can see,

Surely this merits exposure in a post?

I believe that exposure of specific instances of (potential) wrongdoing is the best way to obtain traction: the case being built by the forensic organisation of the detail (cf. Steve McIntyre's skewers).

Sep 19, 2010 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJC

The "taking home the mails" bit is referred to at Item 204 of the GWPF Climategate report by the Bishop.

Sep 19, 2010 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger


Mea culpa. #204 indeed. Screen reading doesn't do justice to the report.

Sep 19, 2010 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJC

Liberate the record.

Sep 20, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

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